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Because they really loved Janie just a little less than they had loved Tea Cake, and because they wanted to think well of themselves, they wanted their hostile attitude forgotten. So they blamed it all on Mrs. Turner’s brother and ran him off the muck again. They’d show him about coming back there posing like he was good looking and putting himself where men’s wives could look at him. Even if they didn’t look it wasn’t his fault, he had put himself in the way. (20.1)
Interestingly, it is not really Janie’s forgiveness that the men seek, but her forgetfulness. Perhaps they desire this because they cannot really forgive Janie for killing Tea Cake and would be free to resent her forever if their sin was forgotten but not necessarily forgiven. Either way, they demonstrate their apology to Janie indirectly – by driving the Turner brother from the Everglades. Janie couldn’t care less because she forgave them without expecting anything in return.